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EXPANSION AND SLAVERY Tyler’s Troubles –Tyler clashed continuously with Clay, who considered himself the real leader of Whig party –Clay’s comprehensive.

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Presentation on theme: "EXPANSION AND SLAVERY Tyler’s Troubles –Tyler clashed continuously with Clay, who considered himself the real leader of Whig party –Clay’s comprehensive."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXPANSION AND SLAVERY Tyler’s Troubles –Tyler clashed continuously with Clay, who considered himself the real leader of Whig party –Clay’s comprehensive program, which included a new Bank of the United States, conflicted with Tyler’s view of states’ rights –when Tyler vetoed a bill to create a new Bank, the entire cabinet, except for Webster, resigned

2 –Clay wanted to distribute the proceeds of land sales to the states to justify raising the tariff –southerners insisted on stopping distribution if the tariff exceeded 20 percent –when the Whigs attempted to push a high tariff through Congress without repealing the Distribution Act, Tyler vetoed the bill –finally, after repeal of the Distribution Act, Tyler signed a bill providing for a higher tariff

3 The Webster-Ashburton Treaty –the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick had remained unsettled since 1783 –in order to avoid a serious conflict over the disputed area, Secretary of State Webster and Lord Ashburton negotiated a settlement –although the United States gave up some of its rightful claims in that area, the British made concessions elsewhere along the U.S.-Canadian border

4 The Texas Question –the Transcontinental Treaty of 1819 excluded Texas from the United States –Americans nevertheless soon began to settle in the area, which had become part of an independent Mexico; American settlers soon outnumbered Mexicans in Texas –both Adams and Jackson tried to buy Texas, but Mexico refused to sell –disagreements arose between the American settlers and the Mexican government over religion, language, and slavery

5 –this led the Mexican government to prohibit further immigration of Americans; in response, Texans began to seek independence –A series of skirmishes escalated into rebellion; Texas declared its independence in 1836, and Sam Houston was elected its first president –although opinion in Texas favored annexation by the United States, Jackson and Van Buren wanted neither war with Mexico nor to stir up sectional tensions by admitting Texas as a state

6 –Texas developed friendly relations with Britain, which alarmed southerners, who worried that Texas might abolish slavery –in an effort to insure the annexation of Texas, Tyler appointed Calhoun secretary of state –Calhoun’s association with the extreme southern viewpoint and with slavery alienated many northerners who otherwise would have favored the annexation of Texas, and the Senate rejected Calhoun’s treaty

7 Manifest Destiny –by the 1840s, Americans had come to believe that it was their destiny to explore, settle, and exploit the entire continent and to unify it into one nation

8 Life on the Trail –later generations romanticized westward expansion; in reality, the movement entailed hardship, danger, and death –in the 1840s, the trip west covered a longer distance than in earlier days –moreover, the comforts of “civilization” were more extensive than in earlier times, and therefore harder to surrender –the move west disrupted family life and gender roles; much of the hardship fell on women

9 California and Oregon –many settlers traveled to California, then unmistakably part of Mexico, and to Oregon, which both the United States and Britain claimed –the expense of the trip meant that few who went west were genuinely poor –the allure of Pacific coast harbors, which some regarded as the keys to the Asian trade, also drew people westward –in the 1840s, Americans regarded Oregon as a particularly desirable destination

10 The Election of 1844 –Whigs nominated Clay –Van Buren wanted to keep Texas out of the campaign, but southern Democrats rallied behind Calhoun’s policy of annexing Texas as a slave state –Van Buren lost control of the Democratic convention, which nominated James K. Polk of Tennessee –a Jacksonian Democrat who opposed both high tariffs and a national bank, Polk favored expansionism

11 –the antislavery Liberty party split the Whig vote in New York and handed the election to Polk –in spite of Polk’s narrow victory, many regarded it as a mandate for expansion –Tyler called for a joint resolution of Congress to annex Texas, and it passed just before Tyler left the White House

12 Polk as President –Polk was uncommonly successful in carrying out his policies –he persuaded Congress to lower the tariff of 1842 and to restore the Independent Treasury –he also succeeded in opposing federal internal improvements –Polk acquired Oregon in a treaty with Britain, which ended the joint occupation of the territory and established the 49th parallel as the boundary between Canada and the United States from the Rockies to Puget Sound

13 War with Mexico –when the United States annexed Texas, Mexico broke off diplomatic relations –Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to defend the disputed border region between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande –Polk also sent John Slidell on a secret mission to Mexico to try to obtain the disputed area by negotiation –Mexicans rejected Polk’s offer to buy the territory in question as well as part of New Mexico and California

14 –Mexico also reasserted its claim to all of Texas –a Mexican attack on American troops north of the Rio Grande provided Polk with the pretext to declare war –although smaller, the American force was better led and supplied

15 To the Halls of Montezuma –Polk demonstrated real ability as a military planner, but domestic opposition to the war (particularly in the North) and the fact that his leading generals were Whigs hampered his conduct of the war –Taylor quickly occupied northern Mexico, and settlers led by John C. Frémont established an independent Republic of California –American troops under Winfield Scott landed near Veracruz and amid the hardest fighting of war, Scott’s forces advanced into Mexico City

16 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo –Polk sent Nicholas P. Trist to serve as peace commissioner –Trist proceeded to negotiate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico agreed to accept the Rio Grande as its border with Texas and to cede New Mexico and Upper California to the United States –in return, the United States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million and to take on the claims of American citizens against Mexico

17 –Polk hoped for a better deal, but he had no choice but to submit the treaty to the Senate, for to demand more territory would have meant the continuation of an increasingly unpopular war –for similar reasons, the Senate ratified it The Fruits of Victory: Further Enlargement of the United States –the Mexican War resulted in enormous territorial gains for the United States –in 1848, gold was discovered near San Francisco; the ensuing gold rush accelerated settlement of the Pacific coast

18 Slavery: The Fire Bell in the Night Rings Again –territorial expansion raised the unresolved issue of the status of slavery in the new territories –the Constitution did not give the federal government any control over slavery in the states, but Congress had complete authority in the territories –during the Mexican War, Congressman David Wilmot proposed an amendment prohibiting slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico

19 –the Wilmot Proviso passed the House but not the Senate, where southerners held the balance of power –Calhoun countered by introducing resolutions that argued that Congress had no right to bar slavery from any territory –two compromises were offered. Polk and most southerners supported a plan to extend the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific –Senator Lewis Cass proposed letting local settlers determine the issue of slavery in their territory

20 The Election of 1848 –Both parties hedged on the issue of slavery –the Whigs nominated a war hero, Zachary Taylor, and the Democrats nominated Lewis Cass –the Van Buren wing of the Democratic party, known as “Barnburners,” combined with the Liberty party to form the antislavery Free Soil party and nominated Van Buren –Taylor won the election by a narrow margin, but the Free Soil party garnered about 10 percent of the vote

21 The Gold Rush –between 1849 and 1860, over 200,000 people went to California in search of gold –the massive immigration reduced California’s Spanish population to a minority –order was difficult to maintain among large numbers of men seeking fortunes and isolated from women; ethnic conflict contributed to the disorder –Taylor proposed admitting California directly as a state and letting Californians decide for themselves about slavery

22 –Californians drew up a constitution that outlawed slavery, which outraged southerners –the admission of California as a free state would tip the balance in the Senate in favor of the North

23 The Compromise of 1850 –Clay proposed a compromise that California would be brought directly into the Union as a free state, and the rest of the Southwest would be organized as a territory without mention of slavery –Southerners would retain the right to bring slaves into the Southwest Territory –Texas would give up its claims to disputed land along its border with New Mexico; in exchange, the United States would take over Texas’ preannexation debts

24 –the slave trade would be abolished in the District of Columbia (although not slavery itself), and Congress would pass a more effective fugitive slave law –Clay’s proposals led to one of the greatest debates in the history of the Senate –Calhoun demanded that the North yield on every point and argued for the right of states to secede peacefully from the Union –Webster defended Clay’s proposals

25 –Taylor’s death and Fillmore’s assumption of the presidency paved the way for compromise –Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois pushed each measure separately through the Senate


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